02:43 GMT24 January 2021
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    The meeting is taking place amid another wave of coronavirus outbreaks and just three weeks before the end of the transition period for the United Kingdom, while the EU and Britain are still discussing Brexit, with the prospect of no deal looming.

    Sputnik is live from Brussels, where EU leaders are gathering for the first day of the European Council meeting. Heads of European states and governments are set to discuss the pandemic situation across the bloc, work on coronavirus vaccines, and relations with London following the implementation of a withdrawal agreement. They are also expected to discuss a sanctions regime for individuals over human rights violations.

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    Tags:
    Brussels, European Council, European Council, European Union
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